The Museum of Zoology is taking part of the fifth Nuit des Musées (Night of the Museums) in Lausanne, Switzerland, on the 24th of September 2005. The museum decided to center its activities and exhibit around the 583 cm long preserved Great White Shark, the largest preserved specimen in the world.

This Shark was captured off Sète, France (Mediterranean Sea), on 13th October 1956, is one of the three largest specimens ever measured accurately. Prior to this event, the White Shark has been restored after 49 years of exhibition at the museum, enthralling both young and old visitors.

Children program 14:00 - 17:00

Moulding: Come and mould a tooth of the largest Great White Shark and take it home

Race: Pilot your radio-guided Shark in the fontain of the Palais de Rumine. The winners will receive a radio-guided Shark sponsored by the Manor shop of Lausanne.

General public 14:00 - 23:30

Sound and light animation presented by Cod.Act (André Décosterd, Michel Décosterd et Stéphane Gattoni) around the exhibited Great White Shark.

History of the preserved Great White Shark - Where does it come from? Why is it in Lausanne?

Research: Michael Scholl is a White Shark scientist working in South Africa, and he will introduce you to this mystical Shark and answer your questions. Videos and images will also be projected.

Mature public 23:30 - 02:00

Spielberg's Jaws (1975) movie will be projected in the Great White Shark hall

DE MADDALENA, A., ZUFFA M., LIPEJ L. & A. CELONA (2001): An analysis of the photographic evidences of the largest great white sharks, Carcharodon carcharias (Linnaeus, 1758), captured in the Mediterranean Sea with considerations about the maximum size of the species. Annales (Annals for Istran and Mediterranean Studies), Series historia naturalis, 11(2): 193-206.:

The model of a white shark preserved in the Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, Switzerland, is a mould reconstructed via casts from the original body of the specimen caught in Sète, France, on 13th October 1956: this is the largest white shark specimen whose complete morphometrics (made following Compagno, 1984) are available worldwide (De Maddalena et al., 2002). Considering that the size of this specimen is very close to 6 meters (583 cm TOT, 565 cm TLn and 458 PRC).

The 2005 edition of the 'Nuit des Musées' was a tremendous success with over 3'700 visitors to the Museum of Zoology at the Palais de Rumine in Lausanne in twelve hours. And it was a lot of fun also...

The center of activity took place around the largest naturalised Great White Shark in the world at close to six meters in length. The animated lighting of the Shark was spectacular and attracted visitors throughout the afternoon and night.

The children activities were soon fully booked... Below are some pictures of the White Shark teeth molding activity which attracted many children during the afternoon.

Two video beamers projected images on two large screens near the entrance of the Museum. One presented an hour long video of various footage including satellite tagging, as well as surface and underwater footage of both Great White Sharks and Cape Fur Seals. The second video was a thirty minute documentary about the research conducted at the White Shark Trust by Michael Scholl and his assistants. And we intermittently showed a slide show of over 400 photographs... these screens provided a perfect environment to encounter people and answer questions.
The Shark Race activity also took place during the afternoon in the fountain in the Palais de Rumine. Some amazing remote controlled Sharks were used in a race against the clock between obstacles, and many children took part in this activity...
At the end of the afternoon, Michael Scholl gave an hour long presentation to a captivated audience... the seating space was full long before the start of the talk, and children had to sit on the floor in front, while many others remained standing throughout the entrance. The response was truely wonderful, and the presentation a success (probably not shared by everyone: an Asian family left half way through the presentation, angered by the conservation section of the presentation about the finning... Sorry, but we only presented facts!)
The Great White Shark on exibition at the Museum since the late fifties, had been beautifully restaured (she even regained the few teeth that had been stolen over the years) prior to this superbe event of the Night of the Museums. At six meters, she presents herself as a truely impressive and amazing Great White Shark!
I would like to thank the entire staff and team of the Zoology Museum at the Palais de Rumine, for their fantastic work, kindness and enthusiasm on that long day/night. I would like to especially thank Olivier Glaizot (museum curator), Daniel Cherix (museum curator) and Michel Sartori (museum director) for their enthusiastic invitation to the Nuit des Musées (Night of the Museums), and for their generous and kind support organising newspaper coverage and potential funding. Thank you very much for this fun and great opportunity!